Marathon a Month for Rose: Berlin is Lee’s toughest challenge yet

Lee makes it through September’s marathon with your support.

Lee’s story: September 2021 – Berlin Marathon – Sunday 26th

Well, we have got to September and marathon number 9. This was one I was really looking forward to – mainly because it was my first overseas marathon and one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. Yes, that’s right, the Berlin Marathon.

My preparation had gone well. The flights, various covid checks, and passenger locator forms I had to complete were done and dusted. Everything had gone to plan, and my wife and I arrived in Berlin looking forward to the event. I registered, got my number and wristband, and was all ready to go.

The morning of the marathon arrived. I was feeling good, although the weather was uncommonly warm for the time of year (and later got up to the late 20s), and I made my way to the start. The elite runners set off, and the rest of us made our way through the various waves, and the next thing I knew – we were off. The first half of the marathon went to plan, and I was running along, enjoying all that Berlin had to offer.

However, after the 14-mile point, my stomach did not feel so good – and this quickly escalated into me being violently ill by the side of the road. I then had to try and get away from the medic who was trying to take me off! Having completed 8 marathons and ultras as part of this years charity challenge, I knew my limits. With thoughts of your support, I gave a wave to the medic (who was still trying to get my attention in concerned German) – and started to run again.

I managed to continue (in some discomfort) until just after mile 21 when the same thing happened again. At this point, I was starting to feel so ill that running for a particular time was beyond me. I decided to just get it finished (with no copyright infringement to Nike 😊). Which meant walking. Slowly. My stomach now constantly churning.

I did finish.

As the finish line at the Brandenburg Gate got closer, I gave everything I had left. I jogged the last 500 meters and made it over the line to collect my medal. I was relieved that it was over, that I had made it through the most difficult mental challenge I have faced running a marathon to date. I was relieved that I wasn’t dramatically sick all over the Marshall who gave me my medal! 🤣

I know the main thing was to complete the challenge. But, after all my training and preparation, I was really disappointed with my finishing time and that I’d had to walk. Looking back, the weather was scorching. 29-degree heat is a challenge to run in when you are acclimatised to UK weather! Plus, the water I was drinking was different from previous challenges (scooped out of the mains water into cups). So, it may have been that my stomach just didn’t agree with that.

Either way, it’s another one ticked off the list of my Marathon a Month for Rose. (I admit, I’m glad to be getting towards the end of the challenge now.) October’s challenge is this coming Sunday, so I’ve had a week to rest and recharge before another big stage event – the London Marathon. Wish me luck!

Again, I really do appreciate all of your support and donations so far. If you can manage to sponsor me (if you haven’t done so far), please visit the link below.

Thank you all,
Lee